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46 Merchant Street

Kumu Kahua Theatre is located at 46 Merchant Street in Downtown Honolulu on the corner of Bethel and Merchant.

Kumu Kahua Theatre was founded in 1971 by a group of graduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi, with the original goal of producing locally-written experimental works. The Hawaiian language words kumu and kahua translate to “original stage.” At the time, there was no local theatre devoted to telling stories of these islands and its various cultures. In 1982, Kumu Kahua was granted not-for-profit status and in 1994, the Hawaii State Legislature awarded the group its current 100-seat playhouse, a former post office, in downtown Honolulu at 46 Merchant Street. 46 years after its original founding, Kumu Kahua is still the only theatre we know of that is solely dedicated to creating, supporting, and showcasing original works of theatre specifically related to our geographical region and the cultures represented here in Hawaiʻi.

Particularly significant to Improvaganza!, Kumu Kahua Theatre was the first theatre in Hawaiʻi to ever produce an improvised long form play in 1973. The show "Da Kine Kyogen" was based on traditional Japanese theatre of Kyogen, Italian Comedia Dell'arte, and Hawaiʻi's Pidgin English, and was directed by Improvaganza!'s first Legacy Awards recipient Kitty Heacox. Therefore, it is an honor for the Improvaganza! Hawaiʻi Festival of Improv to be hosted by Kumu Kahua Theatre as a part of its Dark Night Series. 

Please visit Kumu Kahua Theatre's website for a complete list of shows in their 49 season (2019 -2020):